Meenakshi Lekhi re-nominated, Gautam Gambhir to fight from E Delhi

The apology by Rahul Gandhi on Monday, where the Congress president admitted in the Supreme Court he had misinterpreted its decision, made Lekhi pull a last-minute coup

From the archives

New Delhi: In what appears a reward to lawyer Meenakshi Lekhi for her victory in the case of contempt-of-court against Congress president Rahul Gandhi earlier today in the Supreme Court, the BJP has renominated her from the New Delhi Lok Sabha constituency. Retired cricketer Gautam Gambhir, who had recently joined the party, has been fielded from East Delhi.

As reported by Sirf News on Sunday, three candidates for Delhi had not been decided yet. While Maheish Girri is likely to get a ticket from Gujarat, from where he had begun his spiritual journey, Udit Raj’s fate is still undecided.

The central election committee of the BJP on Monday decided the following names for the ensuing general election to two of the parliamentary constituencies of Delhi.

Sl. States PC No. Name of PC Name of Candidate Phase
NCT OF Delhi 3 East Delhi  Gautam Gambhir 6
NCT OF Delhi 4 New Delhi  Meenakshi Lekhi 6

The separate exercises by the BJP and RSS of gathering feedback about the sitting MPs had ended more than a month ago. Lekhi had received a mix of recommendations and disapprovals from New Delhi despite her prominence in legal fights against the Congress and outreach in the constituency aided by a mobile application tailor-made for New Delhi. This was why, sources said, the candidate for the seat remained undecided until Sunday.

The virtual apology by Gandhi on Monday in the morning, where the Congress president admitted in the apex court that he had misinterpreted its decision, made Lekhi pull a last-minute coup of sorts.

22 March: When Gautam Gambhir joined the BJP

Gautam Gambhir was identified as a nationalist much before the former cricketer took the plunge to join the BJP. The party would be banking on his charisma to pull the voters in East Delhi, a source said.

Another reason for the delay in declaring candidates for the seven Delhi seats was the uncertainty over an AAP-Congress alliance. While that alliance is still a distant possibility, the source said, the candidates must be given enough time for campaigning.

The process of filing of nomination papers by the candidates for Delhi seats has already begun, with the AAP candidates issuing appeals on social media to join their candidates at the nomination centres.

Dr Harsh Vardhan, who had reliably learnt he would be re-nominated, had started his canvassing some days ago in his constituency.

Manoj Tiwari has been practically been on the campaign mode always, thanks to his additional status as the Delhi BJP chief. The party is hopeful the Purvanchali and Bihari demography in North-East Delhi will prove useful in his campaign.

However, all candidates declared so far by the BJP, which includes Ramesh Bidhuri from South Delhi and Parvesh Verma from West Delhi, would stress Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership and governance in their speeches. Gambhir is likely to underline the current government’s “strong actions” against Pakistan the most at the hustings, a source said.

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